Category Archives: Pregnancy

Will You Still Be My Friend?

I was that pregnant lady six years ago.

The glowing one. Easily knocked-up, easily growing, plenty of energy, cute and adorable in stretchy outfits. We should have done one of those baby bump photo shoots to memorialize the whole magical experience.

Did you know me then? Wasn’t I irritating?

I’m sorry about that. But don’t worry, karma is a bitch.

Back in October I was so worried about the baby and my health that I thought my anxiety was causing intense nausea. Luckily I have a therapist. “I don’t think so,” she said. “I think you have morning sickness.” I get it now. That sh*t sucks. I tried vitamin B6, Unisom, prescription meds, ginger pills, fresh ginger, ginger chews, sea bands, and a million naturopathic remedies. Nothing worked, except waging a war of attrition in which I was always losing.

There was a brief respite around twenty weeks when the nausea was gone and I had some energy. Now I’m just excruciatingly tired. I look at the dishes and think, I should let those rot and add paper plates to the grocery list.

You might have my phone number and wonder if I’ve changed it. No. I just don’t return your calls, or listen to your voicemails. There’s sort of a text-message-roulette thing I have going.

Am I supposed to send you a reply to something you asked me about a few weeks ago? Did you invite me to do something after 2 p.m.? It’s not happening.

Recently the boys and I came down with colds. Then my husband started to get a sore throat. I was irrationally angry: Who will take care of us now?

I need to rent a wife for the next few months. No sexual benefits, just chores and cooking. I’m working on making the description more appealing. “We provide room and board. You make food and tidy-up. Desired experience: Culinary Institute of America, U.N. peacekeeping forces, downstairs employment in British manor house.”

Until I hire my new wife, please forgive the way I seem to be stomping all over our friendship. I would love to stop alienating you, but I have to take a nap and then get ready for bed.

Where the Magic Is

I’ve thought a lot about this baby’s story.

It starts by surprise. We were adamantly not trying to get pregnant. I couldn’t understand having more than two kids because my boys were filling life up so completely: My cup was running over into its saucer and onto the tablecloth and dripping onto the floor.

Now that the Fairy Pig is on her way (it’s a girl baby!), we don’t feel any need to hide the surprise in the story. In fact, the surprise is the best part. It’s the magic. Suddenly poof! Out of nowhere there’s this little piggie. She’s a gift from God.

There aren’t many decisions we make in our lives that aren’t carefully considered, or at least somewhat considered. But here we are in a passing dream. Honey, I dreamt last night that we were having another baby. I was really pregnant. It was crazy. This is the dream path. The path we might imagine but then easily let go of.

There were so many things we were about to do on the real path, the carefully considered one.

I had a pitch email drafted, proposing how I wanted to cover Women’s World Cup this summer in Canada. We were going to drive up the West Coast, doing some of Lewis and Clark’s route in Oregon and Washington, then heading to Vancouver British Columbia for games. I had taken photos of our house to list on one of those vacation home swap sites.

I’d started horseback riding again. Horses are better than the densest sourdough bread, the crackliest pizza crust, the lightest macaroon, the most caramel-drenched sundae. I recently went up and rode with our family friend in Hood River at her barn next to their family’s apple orchard. It had been nine years since I’d been in a saddle, but my muscles remembered. Then I was invited to work with an experienced horsewoman from church who lives close by, and to ride her horse through the winter.

But I had this dream about being pregnant. Honey, last night I had this dream. I went to the doctor and she showed me a picture of a little fairy baby wrapped in a great cloud of unknowing. It was crazy.

The baby is due during Women’s World Cup. I’m prohibited from horseback riding. Plans of launching into the real life are dashed.

Instead we’re given new life. And I’m reminded that I am not in charge. The circumstances of my life are here by grace, and I need to learn to let go. The letting go has been surprisingly more peaceful than I’d imagined. I like who I am working on growing into now—after five months of emotional and spiritual exercise and physical changes—more than I like the person whom I saw myself becoming.

And we have this magical story to tell.

At first I was worried, Will this child feel unwanted because we were done growing our family before her? Should we talk about the fact that there is no greater surprise in our lives than this baby? But we realized that the magic is the surprise. God gave her to us with a fierce soul that wouldn’t be deterred by any of our plans, and now she’s working on making us better.

Sympathetic Pregnancy Hits the Chaos Team

You know about sympathetic pregnancy: It’s when you are pregnant and your partner starts to gain weight or have cravings, too. (It would be hard to watch your knocked-up other half take naps and indulge and not get a share of the action, right?) In any case, it’s an affliction that’s hit the Chaos Team. While their preschool and kindergarten compatriots are dropping like flies with fevers and colds, K-Pants and Baby Woww seem to be pregnant. You would think the things I do to combat nausea—ginger chews, sea bands, special pills—would be pretty boring, but they love the novelty of it all, and the spicy burn of ginger chews.

“Our tummies feel bad. We need ginger chews.”

“Strange that your tummies feel bad every time you see a ginger chew.”

“We just need one.”

The sea bands were a fun novelty.

“We feel like throw up, Mom. We need your bracelets.”

There are far too many turf wars about food. Normally I’m happy to share snacks, but if the only things I can eat are corn Chex and Granny Smith apples, then there’s going to be a rumble.

“We want your cereal.”

“No, I have to have it because that’s all I can eat.”

“But our tummies hurt. Please, please, please. Just a little bit. We want some cereal. We want some cereal. We want some cereal.”

At this point, I’m usually about to cry as I insist, “No. It’s mine. It’s mine.” We are a very volatile team right now. Often it’s hard to tell who’s acting most like a grown-up.

The biggest sympathetic pregnancy battle yet happened in India. You may have read or experienced that constipation is a common pregnancy side effect. Not knowing how I could take in the crazy amounts of additional fiber I currently need while traveling, I packed a bottle of gummy fiber chews. The children will do anything for stuff that comes in gummy form.

“Mom, we need a poop gummy.”

“But they’re for me.”

“But we need them to help us go poop.”

Then Baby Woww would stick out his little tush and go, “Pooooop!” Occasionally I would wear down and give them a fiber gummy, but they wanted them in amounts that would have caused some serious back-end malfunction. I held strong. One day they were very quiet, and then I received this note. Fiber Gummies. MomsicleBlog In case you can’t read the inventive spelling and are confused by the lack of spaces, it says. “We have to eat fiber gummees!” One can only surmise that the drawings are of gummy chews in bottles and strings of healthy colons. The ensuing negotiations were difficult, but I managed to save the chews for myself. We still have until June to travel this path, so if you see K-Pants and Baby Woww looking suspiciously rotund, know that I simply have no willpower left.

A New Kind of Wonderful

South India. MomsicleBlog

We recently got back from India.

As I type this in Oregon the rain is falling and another cold, damp day is about to dawn if the sun can find it’s way up—something the sun seems hesitant about on every Oregon winter day.

But for about three weeks we sat outside in thin summer clothes, shooing mosquitoes, watching giant fruit bats in steady traffic above our heads. At the family home where we were staying terns manically fed in a freshwater valley while herons and egrets patiently waited for prey and Brahminy kites in stunning white-headed, burnt-copper-bodies glided through.

We were in India to see family. Every day they spoiled us with fish moles, chicken stews, bowls of coconut beef, potato masalas, smashed yucca, and biriyani. It’s well known among our family that I love masala dosa. I must have had it ten or fifteen times. Once the crispy dosa were made over an outdoor fire in the traditional kitchen.

We started planning this trip a year ago. I had not planned on being pregnant. In early November before the trip, my morning sickness mounted, and with it my normal anxiety about flying. I used to be a carefree flyer, but so many things have changed since the days when I would cross continents by myself.

Boarding a plane to Asia with the precious cargo of my husband and two children, in the same year that two Malaysia Airlines planes went down, seemed brash. The only thing worse would have been traveling without them. I stockpiled herbal calming remedies, nausea medication, and melatonin in various forms.

My morning sickness started to fade the week before we left. At fourteen weeks pregnant, just out of the first trimester, I was supposed to be feeling better. Each day I was less nauseous for more hours. I could eat some salads, or chicken and rice. I discovered, however, that if anything will bring nausea roaring back, it’s twenty hours cramped in a dimly lit, vibrating space with brittle air and the threat of turbulence. By the time we were crossing the Arabian Sea heading to our final port, I was rocking back and forth with a giant garbage bag in front of me, hoping not to throw up.

K-Pants had already thrown up on our first flight. I anticipated this because he gets motion sick, so we were prepared with plastic bags, towels, and extra clothes. Baby Woww threw up in a car once we were in India, and my morning sickness got bad enough that we went to the doctor (which turned out to be a lovely experience).

Thinking back to travel in my mid-twenties, all this nausea and vomiting and the consequential changes in plans would have made an adventure like this harrowing. But the only word I can think of to describe the trip is wonderful.

South India. MomsicleBlog

This wonderful is equal parts hiccups and ease. It’s filled with the pride that comes from doing something overwhelming, because the rewards were greater than the simplicity of staying at home. We affirmed our core values of family connectedness and adventurous exploration.

And in the wild journey of this third pregnancy, I learned to lean on God even more, because there were so many times when I was not in control while we were gone, and yet everything was wonderful.